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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery lost 42 cents to $37.96 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August lost 25 cents to $40.71 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $9.20 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for July added three cents to $1.64. The TSX energy index lost 3.51 points to close at 77.92.
In addition to lower oil prices, some companies had to contend with the rising ire of credit ratings agencies. DBRS Morningstar has taken to task no fewer than four oil and gas producers in the last week and a half. The first target in what promises to be an active review period for DBRS (as discussed in the Energy Summary last Thursday) was oil sands producer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ: $22.39). Canadian Natural emerged from the review with only mild wounds: Although DBRS maintained its view that "All trends are Negative," it still confirmed the company's investment-grade rating of BBB (high). Canadian Natural thus managed to avoid a downgrade. The three new additions to the list, alas, were not so lucky.
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